Encapsulated Cinema Explores Captain America’s Storied Cinematic Past

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Captain America II: Death Too Soon (1979)

All you really need to know about this decidedly strange sequel to the Central Broadcasting System’s wonky 1979 adaptation is contained within the photograph positioned above. That’s one crazy helmet, Cap. Director Ivan Nagy picks up where Rod Holcomb and company left off, though this isn’t necessarily a good thing. However, without having to painstakingly chronicle the origins of our peculiarly dressed hero, Nagy and his stable of writers were free to take the character in any direction they saw fit. Why they decided to have Captain America fight a devious little villain hellbent on accelerating the aging process is beyond me. Armed with his tiny shield and his smoky van/motorcycle launchpad, Cap sets out to save the world from wrinkles, incontinence, and those pesky AARP representatives. Gone again are most of the elements which made the comics so appealing, including our hero’s arch nemesis Red Skull. If you were fond of CBS’ previous installment in this ill-conceived and severely misguided series, “Death Too Soon” is the next logical step in your questionable journey. However, be prepared for plenty of lame fighting, a metric ton of wooden acting, and a plethora of shots featuring Reb Brown on his trusty motorcycle. It ain’t pretty and it ain’t easy to swallow in one sitting, but it’s definitely a must-see if you’re a fan of all things Captain America. Just try not to stare at his tiny little shield.

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